From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sa Leone Health pride to Reduce Infant and Maternal Mortality Rate in Sierra Leone
By Augustine Samba
Jun 9, 2010, 17:10

A non government organization,ĀSa Leone Health Pride Inc, a United States based organization in collaboration with the College of Medicine and Allied Health Science (COMAHS), Faculty of Nursing, on Thursday 3rd June 2010 held a one day conference with over two hundred nurses in the western area, at the Faulty of Nursing Hall Lightfoot Boston street Freetown.

The conference which was held on the theme 'Nurses in Clinical Practice and Management', attracted so many important personalities including representatives and students from colleges in New York and New Jersey, representatives from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, COMAHSĀand other important stakeholders.

Dean of facaulty of Nursing COMAHS

As the Sa Leone Health Pride slogan goes' each one teach one' the main aim of the programme was to assist in reducing the high maternal & infant mortality indices in the country through education. The conference focused on the training of nurses in order to disseminate information on combating maternal & infant morbidity and mortality in various communities in Sierra Leone.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Chairman of the conference, Dr. Bailah Leigh who doubles as Acting Provost COMAHS, expressed appreciation to the American colleges and Sa Leone Health PrideĀfor partnering with Sierra Leone health personnel to fight against infant and maternal mortality rate.¬†

Delegates from the United States universities

Dr. Leigh informed that, these are some of the opportunities the country is currently yearning for. He disclosed that, the conference was a very big opportunity as it will help our nurses to gain so much wealth of knowledge and thus deliver the country from the much talked about infant & maternal mortality threats. He also appealed to the nurses to make good use of the training.

In her statement, Dr. Florence Dorwie, the founder and chairperson of the Sa Leone Health pride said, after the war in Sierra Leone, as a Sierra Leonean based in the USA, she established the Sierra Leone Pride in 2004 as the country registered the highest infant and maternal mortality rate in the world. 

Nurses at the conference

Dr. Dorwie disclosed that since the organization came into being with the help of other stakeholders including the Ramapo University and the Long Island University, she has always visited Sierra Leone twice in every year to promote the clinical service and education of nurses in Freetown, Bo and Jimmi Bagbo in the Bo District. She said the organization had created a strong relationship between Ramapo College of New Jersey, Long Island University of New York and that of the Faculty of Nursing, COMAHS, the University of Sierra Leone, all in a bid to capacitate the standard of nursing in Sierra Leone. Further more, she informed that besides infant and maternal mortality education, facilitators from the US were also available to educate nurses on ethics, management and confidential communication between the patients and the health personnel. 

Dr. Dorwie

She disclosed that last year her organization donated 20 computers and 400 text books to COMAHS. She further revealed that Ramapo has now signed an M.O.U. with Njala University to establish a Bachelor of Science in Nursing course at the Bo campus.

In his keynote address the Dean, Faculty of Nursing COMAHS, Dr. Joseph Edem-Hotah spoke lengthily on the relationship between Ramapo CollegeĀfs nursing programme, the Sa Leone Health Pride and the benefit that would be derived if there is a good relationship and commitment between the former and the latter. He also threw light on the partnership of the Sa Leone Health Pride project. Furthermore, he gave a comprehensive lecture on the topic of ĀeCritical Need for Accuracy of NurseĀfs Diagnosis and its necessity'.

Many other speakers also made useful interjections. At the conference, the country representative, Mr. Ernest Ndomahina of Sam-King Services, was giving loud applause for working whole heartedly in the interest of the organization. It was revealed that all responsibilities relating to the successful local implementation of the mission of the Sa Leone Health Pride were carefully handled by Mr. Ndomahina.

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